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Interaction of a peptide model of a hydrophobic transmembrane alpha-helical segment of a membrane protein with phosphatidylethanolamine bilayers: differential scanning calorimetric and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic studies



Interaction of a peptide model of a hydrophobic transmembrane alpha-helical segment of a membrane protein with phosphatidylethanolamine bilayers: differential scanning calorimetric and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic studies



Biophysical Journal 68(3): 847-857



High-sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were used to study the interaction of a synthetic alpha-helical hydrophobic transmembrane peptide, Acetyl-Lys2-Gly-Leu24-Lys2-Ala-Amide, and members of a homologous series of n-saturated diacylphosphatidylethanolamines (PEs). In the lower range of peptide mol fractions, the DSC endotherms exhibited by the lipid/peptide mixtures consist of two components. The temperature and cooperativity of the sharper, higher-temperature component are very similar to those of pure PE bilayers and are almost unaffected by variations in the peptide/lipid ratio. However, the fractional contribution of this component to the total enthalpy change decreases with increases in peptide concentration, and this component completely disappears at higher peptide mol fractions. The other component, which is less cooperative and occurs at a lower temperature, predominates at higher peptide concentrations. These two components of the DSC endotherm can be attributed to the chain-melting phase transitions of peptide-nonassociated and peptide-associated PE molecules, respectively. Although the temperature at which the peptide-associated PE molecules melt is progressively decreased by increases in peptide concentration, the magnitude of this shift is independent of the length of the PE hydrocarbon chain. In addition, the width of the phase transition observed at higher peptide concentrations is also relatively insensitive to PE hydrocarbon chain length, except that peptide gel-phase immiscibility occurs in very short- or very long-chain PE bilayers. Moreover, the enthalpy of the chain-melting transition of the peptide-associated PE does not decrease to 0 even at high peptide concentrations, suggesting that this peptide does not abolish the cooperative gel/liquid-crystalline phase transition of the lipids with which it is in contact. The FTIR spectroscopic data indicate that the peptide remains in a predominantly alpha-helical conformation, but that the peptide alpha-helix is subject to small distortions coincident with the changes in hydrophobic thickness that accompany the chain-melting phase transition of the PE bilayer. These data also indicate that the peptide significantly disorders the hydrocarbon chains of adjacent PE molecules in both the gel and liquid-crystalline states relatively independently of lipid hydrocarbon chain length. The relative independence of many aspects of PE-peptide interactions on the hydrophobic thickness of the host bilayer observed in the present study is in marked contrast to the results of our previous study of peptide-phosphatidylcholine (PC) model membranes (Zhang et al. (1992) Biochemistry 31:11579-11588), where strong hydrocarbon chain length-dependent effects were observed. The differing effects of peptide incorporation on PE and PC bilayers is ascribed to the much stronger lipid polar headgroup interactions in the former system. We postulate that the primary effect of transmembrane peptide incorporation into PE bilayers is the disruption of the relatively strong electrostatic and hydrogen-bonding interactions at the bilayer surface, and that this effect is sufficiently large to mask the effect of hydrophobic mismatch between the lengths of the hydrophobic core of the peptide and its host bilayer.

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Accession: 008891564

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7756552

DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3495(95)80261-4


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